Book of the Day - 3/21/04
Youngblood Strikefile #1 Apr 1993
- Overstreet 2006 (9.2) NM- Price: $3 -
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An artist of a professional superheroes comics publication should be able to provide art that's both dynamic and consistent from page to page. Dynamic in the respect that most comics feature abnormally muscle bound people doing extraordinary feats that in the real world would be impossible but the artist needs to pencil the page so it looks as if it's happening in as near a real world environment as possible. Not a easy task and frankly some artists can't do it well. Also, the characters shouldn't change in dress and appearance from panel to panel or page to page. And even though the characters are "pumped up" they should have the appearance of being anatomically accurate or proportioned correctly at least. Consistency is the key. Nothing will pull a reader out of a story quicker than a flagrant artistic error.
Rob Liefeld does dynamic very well. Each panel seems to ooze with excitement with characters ready for action at a moment's notice. But he does it too well. Each page looks like a poster pin-up with no flow which hurts any storyline that may be trying to get out. Though to be truthful, most comics that Liefeld's authored have been the worst written in the form in the last 20 years.
What Rob hasn't done well is the consistency department. Continuity errors are a practically a trademark of a Liefeld drawn comic. With no editor over his shoulder, he has consistently drawn his characters in different garbs and impossible anatomical poses. No comic illustrates this trend better than Youngblood Strikefile #1 (YS). Started as an extension of his top selling Image Comics Youngblood series, YS practically guaranteed sales from rabid fanboys and speculators who couldn't get enough Liefeld.
So let's start this class on how not to draw a comic:
Page #1 - What you see here are the Allies. The girl is named Glory. The flying guy is Super-Patriot, and the Captain America clone in the middle is Die-Hard. The set-up is they are running into a battle with the Nazis during World War II. Note a couple of items. DH has a bag mask over his head and load bearing gear (LBG) on both legs, his shoulders, his chest, and ammo pouches along his belt. SP has a star on his red head band and an eagle across his whole chest and belly.
Page #2/3 - DH now has a full fitting mask on and his shoulder/chest straps are gone. Note the LBG on his right leg. SP has the eagle on his chest but it doesn't run down the front. His mask is now blue. Also, note Glory's red boots.
Page #4 - DH shoulder/chest straps reappear and the LBG gear is now on his left leg in the top panel and missing completely from the lower left panel. At least the mask hasn't changed. Glory now has straps on her boots.
Page #5 - SP's eagle now is along the whole front of his costume.
Page #6 - DH's LBG gear and straps are gone. SP now has red mask with no star.
Page #7/8 - DH's LBG/straps reappear. Strap on right leg.
Page #9 - DH's shoulder straps disappear. Leg strap now on left leg. SP's head band star has reappeared. And are they now fighting at night?
Page #9 - DH's now has the bag mask on. Glory has lost the strapping on her boots.
And there you have it. There are a couple more pages that occur in the present day but essentially I didn't care about the story at this point (and had no glaring glitches that I could find on a cursory scan). Regardless, I thought this issue was great and is one of my guilty pleasures. You know what they say about a movie being so bad that it's entertaining? Well, trying to find all the continuity glitches in this issue made for some great reading. But I didn't enjoy it to the point that I'd want to see it again.
I hear that Rob is going to return to X-Force in the near future. Great! He's going to return to the title and characters that made him famous! Let's just hope his output is better than this or Avengers Vol 2 #1 for that matter.....